Melba Recordings

"... a label of fragrant distinction"

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A Lotus Blossoming

01/04/2012
Herald Scotland
Michael Tumelty

...features a fine new recording of Messiaen's Quartet For The End Of Time, about which there is something very fresh. The group, essentially a clarinet trio joined for the recording by violinist Wilma Smith (concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra) doesn't make a meal of Messiaen's epic, eight-movement, prisoner-of-war-camp masterpiece. Their performance is more lean than luscious, even in the two gorgeous slow movements, and more lithe than languorous....a very good addition to the catalogue, the more so because the Messiaen is coupled with Zemlinsky's Clarinet Trio, a lovely, Brahmsian work from a once-prominent composer who escaped the Holocaust by moving to the US, only to slide there into obscurity.